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In a satisfying follow-up to Garden of Lies (1989), sibling rivalry rears its ugly head--ruining the life of a Hollywood starlet and, nearly, the daughters who succeed her. They were creatures of 1950's Hollywood, only 16 months apart in age and almost as alike as twins--except that Eve, the prettier one, would kill for a movie role while Dolly, her older sister, would merely ruin Eve's reputation for one. When the quickly successful Eve not only marries her sister's former lover but finds herself up for a starring role in yet another major motion picture, Dolly does what any self-respecting Hollywood actress would do--she reports her sister to the McCarthy Commission. Blacklisted, Eve becomes an alcoholic and, 12 years later, kills herself--leaving behind a teenaged daughter, Annie; 11-year-old Laurel; and Val, her drunken lout of a husband. When Val begins making passes at Annie, the teenager runs away with Laurel to New York, little knowing that her Aunt Dolly, who runs a successful gourmet chocolate business there, is desperate to find the girls and make up for the harm she did their mother. Years later, after Dolly has given Annie a start as a chocolatier and Laurel as an illustrator, these sisters, too, find themselves at war--this time over young New York restaurateur Joe Daugherty. Joe marries angelic Laurel but longs after self-sufficient Annie, causing a bitter, unspoken rivalry between the sisters until, with Aunt Dolly's help, Annie learns to love an equally handsome and successful--and even sexier--suitor. If Goudge's style is unusually reserved and mild-mannered for a modern urban potboiler, her descriptions of Annie's luscious chocolate truffles should more than satisfy.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1992
Page count: 560pp
Publisher: Viking